Slumdog star Patel (left) plays a contestant on Who Wants to be a Millionaire?
Danny Boyle's Mumbai-set drama Slumdog Millionaire leads the pack at the 2009 London Critics' Circle Film Awards with six nominations.
Boyle gets two of them for director and British director of the year, with two further citations for star Dev Patel.
Kate Winslet also gets two nominations, in the best actress and best British actress categories, for her work in Revolutionary Road and The Reader.
Dame Judi Dench will receive a special prize at the event, held on 4 February.
The veteran actress will receive the Dilys Powell Award for outstanding contribution to cinema - named in honour of the distinguished film critic of the Sunday Times and Punch, who died in 1995.
Broadcasters Mariella Frostrup and Paul Gambaccini will host next year's ceremony, to be held at London's Grosvenor House Hotel in aid of the NSPCC.
Bobby Sands drama Hunger, Mike Leigh's comedy Happy-Go-Lucky and Ron Howard's Frost/Nixon have five nominations each.
Frost/Nixon is up for film of the year alongside Brad Pitt fantasy The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Sean Penn drama Milk, Pixar animation Wall-E and Mickey Rourke's The Wrestler.
Slumdog's competition for the best British film title, meanwhile, includes black comedy In Bruges and the documentary Man on Wire, in addition to Hunger and Happy-Go-Lucky.
Winslet is recognised for The Reader (pictured) and Revolutionary Road
Rourke and Penn are both up for the best actor prize, as is the late Heath Ledger - nominated for his evil turn as the Joker in Batman film The Dark Knight.
Circle chairman Jason Solomons said he was "thrilled" by an "exciting set of nominations which acknowledge the best in film-making from around the world."
Last year saw the London critics name the Coen brothers' No Country for Old Men film of the year, with additional honours going to actors Daniel Day-Lewis and Marion Cotillard.
All three went on to win Oscars at the Academy Awards - which will be held on 22 February next year.